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The Instrument Deployment Camera, located on the robotic arm of NASA's InSight lander, took this picture of the Martian surface on Nov. 26. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's Mars InSight lander, which touched down on the red planet on Monday, has successfully deployed its solar panels and transmitted its first image from the spacecraft's Instrument Deployment Camera, located on the lander's robotic arm.

Why it matters: For InSight to complete its mission of drilling deep into the interior of Mars, it needs energy to charge its batteries. The lander's mission could provide new insights into how Mars formed and evolved, which could shed light on Earth's history too.

  • InSight's two solar arrays are each 7 feet wide and capture enough of Mars' weak sunlight to keep the lander charged. "Even when dust covers the panels — what is likely to be a common occurrence on Mars — they should be able to provide at least 200 to 300 watts," NASA said in a press release.

What's next: During the next few days, scientists will use the spacecraft's robotic arm and attached camera to take pictures of the surface near the lander itself. This will help the team decide where to deploy the scientific instruments.

Go deeper:

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Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with First Lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.